Intelsat launches new video distribution network

WASHINGTON: Intelsat and Level 3 Communications Inc announced an agreement to launch a new video delivery network to serve North American broadcast customers, yesterday. Scheduled for launch in the beginning of 2004, the new Intelsat-operated network will be deployed using Level 3's state-of-the-art fiber-optic network and collocation facilities.


Level 3 is specially optimized for broadcaster customers to provide unprecedented service reliability and the flexibility to transmit any type of digital video feed, from standard definition to high definition television (HDTV) for sports and news contribution and syndication, says a company release.

The new video delivery network serves as an expansion of the existing relationship between the companies Intelsat and Level 3. Both the companies have been working together since Intelsat began aggressively building out its ground network in 2002. Intelsat has utilized Level 3's services to interconnect major points-of-presence (PoPs) and teleports to provision hybrid space/terrestrial services to customers. 

According to the release, the new network will complement Intelsat's growing global satellite fleet, existing terrestrial network and recently announced occasional use television partnership with Television New Zealand (TVNZ). Through a connection to one of the new Intelsat Video PoPs on the Level 3 network, broadcasters located in many of the top media centers in North America will be able to transmit high-quality video content to/from other cities in North America, as well global locations, via the Intelsat network.

The all-digital network offering is expected to meet an increasing demand for flexible and reliable, fiber-based, video delivery solutions in North America by presenting broadcasters with a finely-tuned distribution network run by knowledgeable operators. The offering will initially be comprised of PoPs located in many of the largest U.S. media centers, such as New York, Los Angeles, Washington D.C., Denver and San Francisco, with fiber interconnects into additional North American locations. These PoPs and interconnects will enable access to media companies, as well as to top news and sports venues in each region. Furthermore, as customer demand for HDTV or other services grow, the network will continue to evolve and PoPs in additional cities will be deployed.

The network is being built using 3rd Generation MPEG-2 equipment provided by TANDBERG Television. Customers will be able to choose from various analog, digital compressed video and HDTV interfaces, as well as the transmission speed of their choice, based on their quality requirements. The entire network has been designed to offer high reliability, multiple redundancy, fully diverse route options, and fast switching capability.

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